Manitoba Theatre for Young People will receive this funding for the first time. Pictured here, MacKenzie Wojcik, Maggie Nagle, David Warburton in The House on Pooh Corner (Leif Norman)
This [funding] makes a huge difference. And it speaks to the public supporting the arts and ensuring that we all stay here.
—Cherry Karpyshin, general manager of Prairie Theatre Exchange.
Thirteen Winnipeg arts groups will benefit from an increase of funding made available through Canadian Heritage.
Steven Fletcher, Minister of Transport made the announcement today, April 19, on behalf of James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
Funds are administered through the Canada Cultural Investment Fund which has been operating since 2001. The government matches support from private-sector donations.
This year the Government of Canada is offering 81 cents for every dollar donated by the private sector, amounting to $1,246,408 in funds.
"This represents the largest amount every received," says Cherry Karpyshin, general manager of Prairie Theatre Exchange.
Last year the Government provided 71 cents to the dollar. "This makes a huge difference," she confirmed. "And it speaks to the public supporting the arts and ensuring that we all stay here."
Anthony Kiendl, Executive and Artistic Director of Plug-In, Inc. agrees. "This means that we have a source of ongoing and reliable funding in perpetuity."
Among the arts groups to benefit are Plug-In, Inc., Prairie Theatre Exchange; first-timers Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Arts groups will receive this support through three endowment foundations: the Winnipeg Foundation, the Prairie Theatre Exchange Foundation Trust and the Manitoba Theatre Centre Foundation.
"Anything that adds to the sustainability of non-profit arts organizations is good for the community because we're really geared to serve the public", says Kiendl. "It means that we have more protection from the variations in the economy and that it's really securing our place in the community over the long term."
Fletcher announced that the funding will be sustained until 2015.
Canadian Heritage was cut by 7.4 per cent, or $46.2 million, in this year's federal budget. The impact of that cut on Manitoba arts group is not yet known.
As well, Fletcher announced that PTE will receive an additional $250,000 to complete its renovations. Funding is coming through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.